FLASHBACK: My interview with John Bolton

When I heard that John Bolton had been named by Donald Trump to be his next National Security Advisor, my first thought was good choice.

Apparently, I am the only person in all of Canadian media to think so.

Maybe that is because I, unlike most of the people describing him in ridiculous terms, have not met the man. I’ve met Ambassador Bolton several times in Washington, Toronto and Calgary. We’ve done interviews and when he came to Canada for some speaking engagements I was hired to be the MC and to moderate the question and answer session.

When I first heard a CBC reporter describe him as if he were going to take us all to war immediately, I laughed out loud. The descriptions she used sounded like she had been handed talking points from the Center for American Progress, the far-left think tank.

The John Bolton I know is intelligent, thoughtful and measured. Can he be a hawk? Sure, but what do you want when you are hiring someone to advise of threats to your country?

I found this interview online, it is from my trip to CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C. We did a quick interview in the hallway and what is remarkable is that the threats we discussed here are still valid today.

Much has been made of the fact that Bolton is replacing H.R. McMaster and that this turnover is bad for Trump. Let me explain a difference between how America operated and Canada operates.

American cabinet members have more freedom that ours do to speak their minds but they still need to be on side with their boss. McMaster and Trump disagree and so are parting ways.

Canadian cabinet ministers are expected to hold the party line regardless of their own views and party discipline is tough. If one of Justin Trudeau’s minister’s spoke out against one of the PM’s priorities, they would be gone or issuing a correction quickly.

Big difference in the systems.

John Bolton takes over in a couple of weeks, I can’t wait to see how he does.


  1. Brian, I’ve watched Ambassador Bolton for quite a while and have always found him very interesting to observe and listen to, because of the very traits you mention. I completely agree with your estimation of him, thoughtful and measured are among his more impressive traits, traits that are severely lacking in significant members of our federal government …wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

    • I agree. Bolton is a breath of fresh air in a dangerous world. He certainly stands tall compared to the mediocrities Canada has in its mostly grade nine level cabinet and leadership we have now.

      As well, the less said about our almost 100% leftist media the better. They are still smarting because their favourite, crooked Hillary, did not make POTUS to continue Obama’s policies of appeasement.

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